One of the most popular (and ageless) love songs of all time has the age-old herbs parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in its chorus. They are all used to make our zestier to our palates and nostrils. One of these was recently found to be an effective natural acne treatment, perhaps even more effective than prescription creams and without the side effects.
Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effect of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium acnes – the bacterium that causes acne by infecting skin pores and forming spots, which range from white heads through to puss-filled cysts. The group found that while all the preparations were able to kill the bacterium after five minutes exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three. What’s more, they discovered that thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide – the active ingredient in most anti-acne creams or washes.
Dr Margarita Gomez-Escalada who is leading the research project explained how tinctures are made from plants and herbs. “The plant material is steeped in alcohol for days or even weeks to prepare a tincture. This process draws out the active compounds from the plant. While thyme, marigold and myrrh are common herbal alternatives to standard antibacterial skin washes, this is the first study to demonstrate the effect they have on the bacterium that causes the infection leading to acne,” she said. The researchers used a standard in vitro model that is used to test the effect of different substances applied to the skin. The effects of the tinctures were measured against an alcohol control – proving their antibacterial action was not simply due to the sterilizing effect of the alcohol they are prepared in.
These initial findings pave the way for more research into the use of tinctures as a treatment for acne. See the original story
When it comes to skin care, natural remedies are usually the best way to go. Chemicals can cause other skin problems even as they take care of the one they were originally intended to help with. The good thing about this promising natural acne treatment is that it appears to attack the problem at source, which is at the bacteria level.